Financial Management & Administrative Services
The mission of the Finance Department is to ensure that all resources of the City of Montpelier are managed and accounted for in an effective and efficient manner, that all financial records are presented in a timely, accurate and meaningful format and that all staff members work toward continuous improvement and professional service.
The Finance Department oversees all of the City's financial matters. It is responsible for maintaining the daily accounting records and providing payroll, payables and billing services for the City’s governmental and business activities. The Finance Department provides regular financial information to Department Heads, the City Manager, the City Council and residents. Our department prepares the annual City budget, manages human resources, prepares year-end financial statements and coordinates the annual audit. Financial records are maintained to insure compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations. The department also oversees all grant financial activities to assure proper use and reporting of grant funds.
Many reports are available on the City’s web site:
The City of Montpelier Annual Audit
Periodically Released Financial Data (Budget Reports, Warrant listings, etc.)
The City of Montpelier has 22 active funds, 10 departments and 4 labor contracts/employee plans. Montpelier has $59 million dollars invested in capital assets financed by 41 loans that total $23 million dollars. The annual operating budgets for the City’s governmental and business-type activities total $18 million dollars. Our Chart of Accounts has over 2200 accounts which is an indication of the complexity of our financial structure.
In addition to processing the City’s financial transactions, the Finance Department is responsible for the deposits and cash management for the Montpelier School System and the Recreation Department. $56 million passes through our City bank account annually .
Our department completed a major reorganization which began in 2011 when the city treasurer position became an appointed rather than elected position. We combined the treasurer functions with the Finance Department to increase efficiencies and strengthen financial controls. After retiring as the City Clerk/Treasurer, Charlotte Hoyt returned to city employment in August, 2012 in a part-time finance position which also includes her responsibilities as the appointed city treasurer. Sharon Blatchford, our Payroll and HR Manager, oversees employee compensation and continues to work toward our goal of strengthening human resource services as recommended in the Matrix Management Study.
The department also relies on Senior Staff Accountant, Ruth Dockter and Accounting Manager, Kristine Hepburn to oversee daily financial activity and prepare financial reports. Beverlee Hill, previously the Assistant City Manager and Delinquent Tax Collector, retired in June 2012 and returned to city employment as a part-time tax collector and assistant to the City Manager. Loretta Bresette provides support in the Clerk’s office and processes our Water and Sewer utility billing. Peggy Buldoc also works in the Clerk’s office. She provides customer service along with processing our daily cash receipt transactions.
The Finance Department’s Technology Division provides technology support services to all city departments. We are pleased that Seth Wood, Technology Support Technician, joined our Finance/Technology Division in May of 2014. Seth works with Fred Skeels, Information Technology & Communication Manager to maintain and safeguard the citywide computers, networks and telephone technology systems.
In the nine years that I have served as the Finance Director, the City faced many financial challenges that came with ever-increasing operating and infrastructure costs, unfunded state and federal regulations, and the extremes of Vermont’s weather. The combination of limited economic/grand list growth and our relatively high property tax rates provide significant pressure to minimize increases in municipal spending. The budget for the 2016 fiscal year continues to reflect our constant efforts to limit increases in the municipal tax rate and at the same time follow the multi-year plan to fund infrastructure and capital needs based on the “Steady State” plan adopted by the City Council.
Our city staff actively pursues state and federal grants to help pay for a flood mitigation study, a multi-modal transit center, an expanded bike path, equipment replacement, infra-structure improvements and community justice programs. In FY14, the City expended more than $8.7 million in grant funds from
20 grants awarded from the federal and state programs. $6 million of these grant funds were for the Montpelier District Heat project.
Our office is located in City Hall and is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. We welcome city residents’ questions, comments and concerns. If I can be of service, do not hesitate to call me at the office (262-6253) or e- mail: email@example.com
SANDRA J. GALLUP, Finance Director